We learn to like to be the heroes
We learn to lie to the brand name negroes
We learn to laugh to avoid being angry
We learn to kill and learn to go hungry
We learn not to feel, for protection
and we learn to flaunt when we get an erection


What will we do to become famous and dandy?
just like Amos ‘n’ Andy
We’re born believing we’re greater than circumstance
Infinitely stronger than chance
As our first breath is handed
We taste the double standard
the need to wear the mask
And with society’s nurturing
The psychic plastic surgery
begins to take effect
As our souls watch astouned
Our characters flounder
duplicitous identity
Diction and contradiction have become
the skills of assimilation
Razor honed to perfection
From the moment of creation
It’s gone from identity crisis
To survival slingshot to rifle
Sin to revival
Try to get looked at
but not poked in the eyeball
Warned of our impurities
Afraid of insecurities
Real life experts of the artificial
Athletes and entertainers have become
the minstrels on commercials ( Famous and Dandy ( Like Amos ‘n’ Andy) Disposable Heroes of Hiphoprisy

''The radio show had seen its share of protests, but nothing like the protests reserved for the television program, which was denounced right from the start for its portrayals of African-Americans. Due to protests (and some boycotting), the main sponsor for the show, Bratz Beer, pulled out of sponsoring the show in 1953, and the show ended soon after. However, it continued to be a popular show in syndication well after its cancellation.''

''The radio show had seen its share of protests, but nothing like the protests reserved for the television program, which was denounced right from the start for its portrayals of African-Americans. Due to protests (and some boycotting), the main sponsor for the show, Bratz Beer, pulled out of sponsoring the show in 1953, and the show ended soon after. However, it continued to be a popular show in syndication well after its cancellation.''

Any discussion of  the Arab slave trade, cannot be isolated from the symbiotic relationship it has with Western liberalism. That gross human rights abuses occurred into the twentieth century, and have continued into the present age is testimony for the intensity of these these practices’ ability to fall through the cracks, contradictions and incoherencies of Western liberalism. This model of ”toleration” in the pragmatic utilitarian sense, crystallized in the articulation of John Stuart Mill, seems to possess exceptional and unique characteristics that prolong, provoke, and aggravate racism in original and disingenuous forms based almost exclusively on the admission of cultural differences; superficialities that divert attention from the economic and social concerns Mill ostensibly set out to resolve in ”On Liberty”. Whether he was intellectually not up to the task, or was simply shilling for the East India Company is a matter of open speculation.

Delacroix. Massacre at Chios

Delacroix. Massacre at Chios

To the extent that racial differences could be invoked to explain deviations from expected behavior, no adjustments in basic propositions were required. For racist ideologues the blacks’ cultural differences were cause to cast them into outer darkness, as exceptions of humankind. For liberals like Mill, those same differences could be invoked to make them objects of special treatment. In both cases, their ‘otherness’ meant that basic premises about human nature and behavior, as applied to Europeans, need not be
reexamined. Thus, Mill can be effectively damned for either racistly failing to recognize cultural difference or for recognizing cultural difference in a way that played into racist hands. But in any event, and leaving older racists like Burke and Carlyle aside, Mill’s views, as a father-son combo, are still suspect, though very clever in taking the nature and nurture debate, and creating derivative forms of ”nurture” which fit seamlessly into the prevailing necessities of the emerging pure capitalist system. While Carlyle’s racism was bald and viscious, Mill’s version was merely polite and effete, which may have been even more dangerous given the flowery rhetoric that raised expectations that real and genuine change may have been in the offing.

Jamaican Slave Revolt 1759.

Jamaican Slave Revolt 1759.

” ( John Stuart )Mill’s argument for benevolent despotism failed to appreciate that neither colonialism nor despotism is ever benevolent. Benevolence here is the commitment to seek the happiness of others. But the mission of colonialism is exploitation and domination of the colonized generally, and Europeanization at least of those among the colonized whose class position makes it possible economically and educationally. And the mandate of despotism, its conceptual logic, is to assume absolute power to achieve the ruler’s self-interested ends. Thus colonial despotism could achieve the happiness of colonized Others only by imposing the measure of Europeanized marks of happiness upon the other, which is to say, to force the other to be less so. Mill’s argument necessarily assumed superiority of the despotic, benevolent or not; it presupposed that the mark of progress is (to be) defined by those taking themselves to be superior; and it presumes that the ruled will want to be like the rulers even as the former lack the cultural capital (ever?) quite to rise to the task. Mill’s ambivalence over the inherent inferiority of ‘native Negroes’, even as he marked the transformation in the terms of racial definition historically from the inescapable determinism of blood and brain size to the marginally escapable reach of cultural determination, has resonated to this day in liberal ambivalence regarding racial matters. ( David Theo Goldberg )

Jean Leon-Gerome The Snake Charmer

Jean Leon-Gerome The Snake Charmer

These goods were really not insurable against the measures of normal trade risk. For ten centuries the camel caravans creaked and swayed across the Sahara. Those who bemoaned the end of this picturesque traffic perhaps, in all likelihood, did not know what the chief commodity was. For most of the intellectual leaders of the Arab world, the difference between their political, religious and social philosophy  and tha

the Westerner is generally quite profound. On listening to Islamic clerics in Iran or the unending monologues of Libyan’s like Ghadaffi expound their views, the listener gradually realizes that changes in this part of the world are relatively superficial, with all roads leading back to the seventh century, with the exception of some Sufi mystiques and precious exceptions who could be termed heretics.

”A comparison of the Islamic slave trade to the American slave trade reveals some interesting contrasts. While two out of every three slaves shipped across the Atlantic were men, the proportions were reversed in the Islamic slave trade. Two women for every man were enslaved by the Muslims. While the mortality rate for slaves being transported across the Atlantic was as high as 10%, the mortality rate of slaves being transported across the Indian Ocean could be as high as 90%! While almost all the slaves shipped across the Atlantic were for agricultural work, most of the slaves destined for the Muslim Middle East were for sexual exploitation as concubines, in harems, and for military service.”

The number and diversity of western gadgets in a city like Tripoli or Teheran have no bearing or correlation to what is being thought, taught, and what will eventually happen to the greater Moslem world. It is obvious that Libya, together with those Moslem states which lie within and around the Sahara Desert, are not looking to Europe, The United States or even Russia, but rather ever deeper back into the past, to the great days of Islam.

Yemen slave trade

Whether Islam itself justifies the activity of slavery is a moot point. Like Judaism, there is the essential debate as to whether the precepts for righteous living and value before God are applicable only to those of the faith and the tribe, or whether they are applicable on a universal basis to all bi-peds choosing to identify as ”human”. This is compounded further by writers like Ayaan Hirsi Ali who have made significant impact in the West through an academically flawed approach that negates the principle of equal yet different into a conflictual and antagonistic scenario whose benefit may be dubious in promoting efforts of common cause and progress.

”Islamic law, the Qur’an and the Prophet Muhammad (upon whom be peace) outright banned the practice of infanticide and maltreatment of women. His teachings declared that the poor, orphaned, and elderly need to be cared for by the Muslim community. If the Prophet (peace be upon him) sought fame, as Ayaan claims, he would have promoted himself and his images. However, we find the opposite. It fact he forbade it. Ali makes illogical, incorrect and disrespectful comparisons to modern figures, all of which are baseless.

Jean Leon-Jerome Hookah Light

Jean Leon-Jerome Hookah Light

Ayaan Hirsi Ali claims to understand the difference between culture and religion, but her arguments utilize this faulty logic throughout her books. For example, she writes that non-Muslims practice the tradition of female genital mutilation (FGM here refers to Type III as defined by the WHO, which is the type Ayaan Hirsi Ali refers to her books); a practice does not come from the Middle East. Female circumcision in general is a tradition that is practiced by Christians, Jews, Muslims and animists. A comprehensive study done by the United Nations covering fourteen African nations found no correlation between Islam and female genital mutilation.” Facts are facts. However, sometimes the message from above does not seem to reach the ears of the faithful troops in the field. A faulty connection of sorts or perhaps the heat makes them impervious to God’s  more far reaching priorities….slave44

When the first European travelers penetrated Moslem Africa in the seventeenth-century, a thousand years after the ”enlightenment” brought by the armies of the Prophet, they depicted, without exception, this whole vast region as a world of hunger, thirst, bloodshed, slavery, and fanaticism. They had plenty of experiences to prove it; and, for that matter, a great many of them proved it with their lives. A reader of their accounts of the slave trade and of the treatment of slaves, as well as of women and prisoners of war, is not without cause, startled by present day accounts of defending the practice of flaying men alive, stoning, and public hanging.

Gustave Boulanger. The Slave Market

In Captain G.F. Lyon’s account of his journey with a slave caravan in the Fezzan in 1820; scores of women and children died on the way, and, says the English naval officer, ”None of the slave owners ever moved without their whips, which were in constant use…” The misbehavior of the slaves, which justified the treatment based on religious doctrine, was their inability to survive a march of more than a thousand miles across the desert from Lake Chad to Tripoli.

William Allan, The Slave Market, Constantinople, 1838, National Gallery of Scotland

It would be totally unfair however, to suggest that the Arabs invented the institution, or that their exploitation of the system was any worse than that of other nations, ancient or modern. The classical world, like the world into which the Prophet was born, was firmly based on human bondage, a fact which Plato himself took into account in his blueprint of the ideal society; one ruled by philosophers and worked by slaves. Mohammed was not concerned with making a revolution by overthrowing society, he was concerned with improving it by sensible and practicable reforms. His aim was to protect the rights of men, and even of women, and even of slaves. To denounce slavery in the seventh century was like advocating the emancipation of women. It would have led to the collapse of society. What was needed was what the Greeks called ”right thinking” on these and related problems. This is the basis of Koranic law: property must be respected; alms must be given, up to one fortieth of a man’s annual surplus; women’s security must be provided for; and slaves must be accorded certain rights.gerome6

Jean Leon Gerome. Slave Market

All this was, in its way, a new and dynamic concept of society, impregnated with a religious fervor which was to shake the foundations of the then-known world for centuries to come. It undoubtedly marked the end of the old classical world. Rome was to follow Greece and Egypt and the other Mediterranean empires into dust. And part of this process, following, that is, the destruction of Roman Africa by the Arab invasions, was the relapsing of the desert into its pristine state of epty wasteland, supporting only the bare minimum of life. As a result, the whole of Africa became practically terra incognita to Europeans for the next thousand years.

public execution Iran

But then a new factor changed radically the ”silence” of Africa. This was the slave trade which, under the efficient direction of the Arabs, was soon to involve the whole civilized world from the end of the Middle Ages to the beginning of the twentieth century. The ancient world, of course, was based on slavery, but not on African slaves. The exploitation of black labor was the contribution of the Arabs to mankind, for it was they who organized the vast traffic in human merchandise out of Africa to  the Atlantic and Mediterranean ports. It made the desert an exceedingly busy place, with tens of thousands of men and animals crawling every day across the immense wasteland, since by the eighteenth century the demand for African slaves had become insatiable in almost every corner of the globe.

”The woman is buried up to her neck as her kids watch the whole scene. The Iranian state forces the close relatives of the woman to attend the public execution. A truck pulls up with the correctly proportioned stones. The verdict is read and then the official of the regime throws the first stone.”

Who else was to work the salt mines in the Sahara Desert itself, who the sugar plantations in Barbados, who the tobacco fields in Virginia, who the British, french, Portuguese, Spanish, and Turkish mines and factories, if not the docile African slave?

David Theo Goldberg had serious doubts about John Stuart Mill’s depth of faith in the nature versus nurture debate, and it ability to find common cause at key junctions that only seemed to neuter the issue, making it a ”valuable eunich” in the intellectual sphere the same way the slave traders could leave their valuable eunuchs in the harem without risk of penetration.

”‘It was Carlyle’s call to reinstitute slavery to which Mill principally objected . . . [His] critical concern with Carlyle’s racist sentiment was only secondary and much more understated. Moreover, not only did Mill not object to colonial domination, he insisted upon it, albeit in “benevolent” form.’ And Mill only doubted that blacks were biologically inferior; he did not, alas, effectively deny Carlyle’s claim that blacks were somehow inferior, so much as recast the inferiority as a historically contingent matter. As Joseph Miller has also observed, ‘Mill agrees with Carlyle that blacks generally are less capable than Europeans, comparing blacks to trees
that grew in poor soil or poor climate or that might have suffered from exposure, storms or disease.’slave45

And in this case, for Goldberg, Mill’s defense of laissez-faire, rather than limitation of it, was suspect on racial grounds. In objecting to Carlyle’s racist hierarchical naturalism. . . Mill inscribed in its place and in the name of laissez faire and equal opportunity, an imputation of the historical inferiority of blacks. Mill implied that this assumption of inferiority, because historically produced and contingent, was not always the case (Egyptians influenced Greeks) and might one day be overcome. Yet Mill’s superficial bow to what has become an Afro-centric cornerstone barely hid beneath the surface the polite racism of his Euro-centric history.

Joann Sfar

Joann Sfar

Contingent racism is still a form of racism – not so usual, not so bald, not so vituperative, and polite perhaps, but condescending nevertheless even as it is committed to equal opportunity. Equal opportunity among those with the unfair, historically produced inequities of the colonial condition will simply reproduce those inequities, if not expand them.”

What will we do to become famous and dandy?
just like Amos ‘n’ Andy

On screen or off we can be rented
to perform any feat
And we reflect the images presented
by the media’s elite
Positive or negative attention
is viewed as success
U.S.D.A. African American Beef
is seen as progress
We never ask ourselves too many questions
too much truth in introspection
Maintain the regimentation
and avoid self-degradation
We act out all the stereotypes
Try to use them as decoy
and we become shining examles
of the system we set out to destroy
Cause even in the most radical groups
you will find
that when you stray from the doctrine
you’ll see hard times

What will we do to become
famous and dandy,just like Amos ‘n’ Andy

Being kicked in the closed
mouth or smiling with no teeth
They’re both choices, yes
but it’s impossible to eat
Uneducated, underdeveloped
Undisciplined but mostly unaware
We join the flavor of the month club
We swallow the flavor of the month
Well holding our crotch was the flavor of the month
Bitch this, Bitch that was the flavor of the month
Being a thug was the flavor of the month. Then
no to drugs was the flavor of the month
Kangol was the flavor of the month. Then
Rope gold was the flavor of the month
Adidas shoes was the flavor of the month. Then
bashing Jews was the flavor of the month. Then
Gentrification the flavor of the month. Then
Isolation was the flavor of the month.
My pockets are so empty I can feel my testicles
cause I spent all my money on some plastic African necklaces
and I still don’t know what the colors mean.

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